Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University was created in 1987 as part of the Iowa Groundwater Protection Act. The goals of the Center have been to identify and develop new ways to farm profitably while conserving natural resources as well as reducing negative environmental and social impacts. 

The Center is named for Aldo Leopold (1887-1948), a native of Burlington, Iowa, known internationally as a conservationist, ecologist, and educator. He saw the need for development of a land ethic, outlined in his 1949 book of essays, A Sand County Almanac.

Mark Rasmussen is the Leopold Center director.  A 17-member Advisory Board advises the director on policies, budget and program review.

 Completed Grants

Leopold Center News

November 30, 2017

The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture Advisory Board meeting will be held Wednesday, December 6, 2017, in Room 142, Curtiss Hall, on the Iowa State University campus in Ames. After coffee at 8:30 a.m., the meeting will be called to order at 9 a.m. and adjourn at 11:30 a.m. See the link for the full agenda: LC Advisory Board December 2017 meeting.pdf


November 1, 2017

AMES, Iowa — Calmar, in northeast Iowa, will be the site of the last listening session to help guide the future of Iowa State University’s Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture.

The listening session, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 15 in the Wilder Rooms 104-105 on the campus of Northeast Iowa Community College at 1625 Hwy 150 South in Calmar.

If you cannot attend a listening session, please provide comments through the online feedback form.


August 10, 2017

A listening session to gather input on the future of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture will be held Wednesday, Aug. 16, from 5-7 p.m. at the Armstrong Research Farm near Lewis, Iowa. The listening session is free and open to the public.


August 4, 2017

The organic agriculture industry continues to grow and was listed as a $43 billion industry in the U.S. in 2015, with an 11 percent increase in the number of organic businesses. In addition, local food producers continue to increase in Iowa, marketing their crops through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) operations, farmers markets, and to restaurants and food service outlets.


August 1, 2017

AMES, Iowa — A listening session to gather input on the future of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture will be held Wednesday, Aug. 9, at Iowa State University.

The session, which is open to the public, will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Jeff and Deb Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center, 2508 Mortensen Road.


Of Interest

Listening Sessions

During the fall of 2017, the Leopold Center Visioning Task Force held six listening sessions across the state to hear ideas for future goals and direction for the Center. If you were unable to attend a listening session, please provide comments through the online feedback form.